According to the ’720 patent, existing devices used by law enforcement and the military for subduing people in a non-lethal manner have serious safety issues. For example, chemical irritants (e.g., tear gas) and Taser® high-voltage weaponry have been criticized as being inhumane and unsafe when not properly used, and water cannons can inflict sufficiently high forces to cause significant injuries. The invention disclosed by the ’720 patent is designed to create a brief, intense flash of light that momentarily blinds a viewer so that the viewer is disoriented or “dazzled.” While the use of blinding laser weapons is banned by international treaty (1995 United Nations Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons), the ’720 patent uses LED light sources incorporated in a shield, which can also be bulletproof.
According to its website, Stellar Photonics “applies its innovation and expertise to generate solutions for both military and commercial clients.” Its laser and optics applications division has developed a line of Retina-Safe™ Dazzlers (RSD) for both military and civilian law enforcement use to “temporarily overwhelm an adversary’s field of view, provide non-verbal warning and an opportunity to clarify intent.”
According to the USPTO database, the ’720 patent is Stellar Photonics’ second U.S. patent.